Since joining Liverpool two months ago, much has been made of Jürgen Klopp feeling as though he just might be the perfect fit to manage the club. According to Gerard Houllier, there’s a solid foundation to such thoughts, as it had been clear to him for some time that Klopp was a fan.
It’s common for the managers from Europe’s various leagues to cross paths frequently at UEFA meetings and seminars, and Houllier said that whenever he ran into Klopp at them, Liverpool’s newest manager mostly wanted to talk to him about his own experiences as manager of Liverpool between 1998 and 2004.
"I know Jurgen from UEFA meetings and he has always liked Liverpool," the former Liverpool manager told the Express. "He had a passion for the club. He was always talking about Liverpool—what we did, how we lived. I can tell you he was a true fan of Liverpool and he was following the results before going there."
It was no great secret Klopp was fond of the club, and many fans wondered if he might be willing to take over as Brendan Rodgers’ struggles grew. Yet that Liverpool managed to bring him on board still has to be seen as something of a coup given some of the other clubs likely to need a manager over the next six months.
Now, having arrived, the hope will be for top four and silverware this season. It won’t be a hard expectation set for the new manager, but following a strong start at Liverpool it seems a realistic possibility, and Houllier thinks that having made it to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup helps to set them up for such success.
"They’re in the semi-final of the cup, which could give a lot of confidence," added Houllier. "We saw that when we won, and you saw that with Chelsea. When Mourinho won that trophy, he won the title. Sometimes with a competition like that you get a sense of relief because you win something and then it gives you confidence."